Department Chair: Dr. Edna Greene Medford
In keeping with the character of Howard as a major historically Black university, the mission of the Department of History derives from the determination of people of African descent to advance and affirm the cause of human freedom, equality, and dignity. Intrinsic to this mission is a perspective on the world that conveys full respect for the integrity and dignity of all people, particularly emphasizing the history and culture of peoples of African origin. It is within this historical-cultural context that the community of scholars in the Department of History is committed to seeking truth, increasing knowledge, producing excellent scholarship and approaching the education of students holistically.
In regard to the discipline of history, creating the opportunity for students to acquire both breadth and depth of knowledge as well as understanding are seminal concerns of this department's faculty. Thus, it is the History Department's mission to provide the student at the undergraduate level with: 1) an appreciation of the discipline of history as a tool for critical thinking and learning, 2) understanding of the process of historical research and reconstruction, 3) substantive knowledge as well as the accurate reconstruction and interpretation of the collective experience of the world's people, and 4) a special emphasis on the history of people of African descent. At the graduate level, the Department of History's mission is to train professional historians and to provide specialized training in the methodology of historical interpretation and research as a basis for leadership in the profession and scholarly community.